The Vertigo Years

  • by Philipp Blom
  • Narrated by Joel Richards
  • 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Europe, 1900 - 1914: a world adrift, a pulsating era of creativity and contradictions. The major topics of the day: terrorism, globalization, immigration, consumerism, the collapse of moral values, and the rivalry of superpowers. The 20th century was not born in the trenches of the Somme or Passchendaelebut rather in the 15 vertiginous years preceding World War I.
In this short span of time, a new world order was emerging in ultimately tragic contradiction to the old. These were the years in which the political and personal repercussions of the Industrial Revolution were felt worldwide: Cities grew like never before as people fled the countryside and their traditional identities; science created new possibilities as well as nightmares; education changed the outlook of millions of people; mass-produced items transformed daily life; industrial laborers demanded a share of political power; and women sought to change their place in society as well as the very fabric of sexual relations.
From the tremendous hope for a new century embodied in the 1900 Worlds Fair in Paris to the shattering assassination of a Habsburg archduke in Sarajevo in 1914, historian Philipp Blom chronicles this extraordinary epoch year by year. Prime Ministers and peasants, anarchists and actresses, scientists and psychopaths intermingle on the stage of a new century in this portrait of an opulent, unstable age on the brink of disaster. Beautifully written and replete with deftly told anecdotes, The Vertigo Years brings the wonders, horrors, and fears of the early 20th century vividly to life.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mispronounced words

This reader has a good modulated voice and reads well. However, he mispronounces many words such as inexorable, decorous, etc. In addition,his French pronunciation is appalling.. Atget with the final T emphasized is just one example. Why didn't the producer pick a reader who has a background in French or at least a working knowledge of the language. Too bad.
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- Elizabeth


If you could sum up The Vertigo Years in three words, what would they be?

Panoramic view of early 1900's

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vertigo Years?

Connections between culture changes, social changes, political changes and world historic events

Have you listened to any of Joel Richards’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Goes very well with Fracture, by the same author

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- Luiz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-07-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios